Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why We're Choosing Home Education

It's official:  Katie will be homeschooled!

While most are getting ready to wind down from another school year, I find myself elbow-deep in prep work for next school year.  We've got a notarized affidavit, a list of objectives, and we're fresh off our very first homeschooling expo.

I'm excited.  I'm nervous.  My head is spinning with all the possibilities.

I'm a little overwhelmed.

There's a lot to research, a lot to plan.  We're making our way through curricula and tools and resources.  Trying not to spend too much; trying not to skimp on things.

It's been helpful to keep our "why" in mind.  Our why is carrying me through this uncharted territory right now, offering perspective in moments when the going gets a little tough.

We're trying not to make decisions--especially about our kids' education--from a place of fear, or even based on the negative view of a different option.  (e.g. "We're homeschooling because we don't like the teacher-child ratio of traditional classrooms.")

Instead, our why is pulled directly from our family's core belief system.  We have now done cyber school and public school but, at this point, it feels like the choice to homeschool aligns best with what we value most.

Stephen Covey, in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, said this:
"How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and, keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most."   

Why we've chosen homeschooling. 


:: We believe we've been chosen by God to be our children's first teacher.  Many other people add so richly to our children's lives, but we accept full responsibility when it comes to this most important task.  Next to God, there is no one else who loves our children as much as we do, and the best education takes place with lots of love as the foundation.  Who can give this to our kids better than us?

:: The best environment we know of to prepare our children for living their lives is life itself!  We've already seen that the ability to provide learning opportunities within real-life, everyday scenarios is extremely valuable.

:: We want to nurture the natural curiosity that lives in the minds and hearts of our kids.  We're not experts on children by any stretch, but we do know this:  they love to learn.  We believe that we can successfully inspire this best with a home education.

:: We believe that everyone is different, and therefore have extremely different learning styles.  Our kids all have different strengths, weaknesses, and things that work for them. We want to have the freedom to tailor each child's learning experience, based on their needs and desires.

:: Ultimately, we really just want to light a fire.  We want to inspire, challenge, embolden, and call out the passion in our kids. We believe God has big plans for each of them to live a life of zeal, and we believe that starts here and now.  We'll do what it takes on our end to achieve that.

Remembering to remember these things is crucial right now.  In fact, I've found that just putting them in writing here has been beneficial.  I fully expect to have to reach for these many, many more times throughout our journey.  For now, they remind me to just. breath. 

We're doing the right thing.  We're living out our purpose, on purpose. 

And it's not so much about the math curriculum we choose as it is the heart that will teach it.

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